Wednesday, June 21, 2006

Should respect for religious customs have limits?

Here is another issue that I ran across while reading Yahoo’s opinion column that concerns giving religious folks an inch and them taking a mile. While I believe in freedom of religion and the first Amendment, I feel like some of these demands are going a bit too far.

Should we put a limit on religious customs?

Whole article from USA Today - 6/13/2006

Muslim women in the USA have been asking the public to accommodate their religious beliefs about modesty, a trend that some Muslims worry will provoke a backlash.

In some recent examples:

• In Lincoln Park, Mich., Fitness USA relented when Muslim women demanded that the gym wall off a co-ed aerobic center from their women-only section because men could see them working out.

• In Bridgeview, Ill., a Muslim school says it wants its girls’ basketball team to play road games against non-Muslim schools provided the public schools ban men and teenage boys from the game.

• In North Seattle, Wash., a public pool set up a swim time for Muslim women in which men, even male lifeguards, are banned.

Seems like we now we are not only going to have legal battles with fundie xians, but now are up against fundie Muslims, as well.

In all of the examples, businesses and public facilities were asked to accommodate followers of one interpretation of Islamic law that says the sexes must be separate if women are not covered with headscarves and modest clothing.

“You’re not going to make your American, Christian and Jewish friends to feel comfortable … which in the end could create a dislike for Muslims that is unnatural.”

But other Muslims see the trend as an issue of civil rights.

Salam Al-Marayati, executive director of Muslim Public Affairs Council, says the right to petition for special accommodation based on religious beliefs is protected by the First Amendment.

But in these cases, as I see it, this is forcing people to cater to their religious beliefs in a public domain, which violates the rights of others.

“Whether a woman wants to cover her hair or not is her personal choice,” he says. “As long as it’s not imposed on the rest of society then I don’t see any problem.”

Walid Phares, a professor of Middle East studies at Florida Atlantic University, sees it as an early sign in the USA of a global Islamic movement to pressure Western society into abiding by Islamic laws.

“These demands exist because there is an ideology of a militant movement to slowly but surely demand more,” Phares says. “They will be building on it.”

But Ebrahim Moosa, professor of Islamic studies at Duke University, says the requests are attempts to integrate with U.S. culture. They show “that America can become their home,” he says.

What do you think about this?


Hard-liners won battle for Bridgeview mosque

disturbing details about the Bridgeview mosque


Jewish Atheist said...

I think they should be allowed to ask for reasonable accomedations, but they shouldn't be able to force others to accept.

Lya Kahlo said...

Building a wall? Banning the opposing teams male family mamber from games on their own turf?

Fuck these assholes.

These are not reasonable accomodations (not that you suggested that they were)

Stardust said...

Lya, I agree...If I was a dad or brother and my daughter or sister was playing a game against anyone, I would not appreciate being banned from seeing it because the other team wanted to impose their beliefs on everyone. We would not tolerate those kinds of demands from the xians.

In the 60s and earlier there were separate drinking fountains for blacks and whites. A simple thing, but racist no less. There were separate toilets, separate swimming times, and you all know our history of segregation. These muslims are wanting to segregate non-muslim AMERICANS from public places in order to accomodate THEM in the land of the FREE because of their religious superstitions. This would never be tolerated by us if it happened to be xians.

I find it interesting how we fight against xians to maintain our freedoms that have been fought for so long while some make excuses and get soft on defending those freedoms when it comes to muslims.

From how I see it, this is not merely about “respecting” their beliefs. Many muslims think ALL should follow these rules that allah has set down for the whole world. This is the same thing that xians believe about their gawd. We could say the ten commandments is just a “little thing”? We can let the xians have it displayed in public places and the rest of us just ignore them. Or is that a quick prayer in the morning to accomodate the xians is a little thing, too? We can just close our ears out of respect to them. But these little things lead to other things…once a religion wins the “little things” it just snowballs. That’s how religions who wish to convert people operate. Muslims believe we all need to convert to islam the same way xians believe we all need to be “saved.”

vjack said...

By definition, theistic belief is irrational (i.e., based on faith and typically opposed to reason). I have never understood the point of respecting irrational belief. I too favor Constitutional freedoms, but I see no reason to respect irrational belief.

Stardust said...

I too favor Constitutional freedoms, but I see no reason to respect irrational belief.

Ramen, vjack! We would not allow Mennonites, Amish, Mormons, Xians or others dictate what we must do or not do according to their beliefs in a public setting. Respect does not mean “join in” and go along with the banning of certain people, segregating certain people (and that is what it is when men and boys are banned from certain public events), and so on and so forth.

Stardust said...

Here is an article from the Chicago Tribune archives. It is a lengthy article, but well worth taking the time to read in its entirety. If more people knew this about what is going on in many muslim mosques, I think people would not be so "tolerant" especially since money raised by many mosques in America is being sent to terrorist organizations overseas.

Hard-liners won battle for Bridgeview mosque

Also, here is another link with brief but disturbing detailsabout the Bridgeview Mosque and Muslim Brotherhood

Jason H. Bowden said...

UIC is thoroughly infested with Muslims, though I wouldn't care if they minded their own business.

However, every year UIC has "Islamic Awareness Week," which is nothing other than a blatant attempt to convert people to Islam. "Christian Awareness Week" would never be tolerated for obvious reasons. I want to see a "Jewish Awareness Week," since it would make the heads of all of the leftwing wackademics who preach hatred of the Jews explode.

Yeah, the Muslim propaganda machine within UIC is pretty thorough. During Islamic Awareness Week they saturate the campus with their literature, have videos, booths, people recruiting to get you to adopt their faith. During other times they are just ignored like the Christian activists. I want to know why Muzzies get their own week, and who is funding it.

Stardust said...

Hey, how about an ATHEIST AWARENESS WEEK? How would THAT go over? All those political, ethnic and religious groups would forget about bashing each other and zero in on the "most hated group in America."

Jason H. Bowden said...

By the way, did you hear the news about the jihadis we rounded up in Miami plotting to destroy the Sears Tower?

Stardust said...

Yep. I heard about it. People with this thinking do need to be locked up...however, they are idiots to think that al-Qaida would come to a bunch of amateur blammermouth clowns to carry out such a huge mission. I think they need to be looking inside MOSQUES here in America and do something about US dollars being donated to send back to muslim homelands to aid terrorists who blow up people on a daily basis.


Stardust said...

snippet to add to my last comment

“Batiste met several times in December 2005 with a person purporting to be an al-Qaida member and asked for boots, uniforms, machine guns, radios, vehicles and $50,000 in cash to help him build an “‘Islamic Army’ to wage jihad’,” the indictment said. It said that Batiste said he would use his “soldiers” to destroy the Sears Tower.

Gonzales said “the individual they thought was a member of al-Qaida was present at their meetings and in actuality he was working with the South Florida Joint Terrorism Task Force.”In February 2006, it said, Batiste told the “al-Qaida representative” that he and his five soldiers wanted to attend al-Qaida training and planned a “full ground war” against the United States in order to “kill all the devils we can.” His mission would “be just as good or greater than 9/11,” the indictment accused Batiste of boasting.

Stardust said...

One more thing to consider, even though this group happens to be a bunch of bozos, the message they got from the muslim religion was to DESTROY and to blow stuff up. They either got that from a religious muslim group they are involved with…or they are watching too much television and have too much time on their hands.

And yet another point...there have been more than 100 threats against Sears Tower since 911 and a couple of "thwarted" bombing attempts, and those were not given such media hype as this Miami thing. Could it be the "scare tactics" as election time nears?

Jason H. Bowden said...


Keep in mind, the people who attacked us in 2001 were just a bunch of idiot students. Republicans take this stuff seriously, which is why they win elections. When Democrats take it seriously, they'll be competitive again.

Stardust said...

Jason... these are not even idiot students...these are uneducated Haitians...and yes, like I said they need to be locked up...but the MEDIA HYPE and scare tactics was UNNECESSARY. If they keep doing this, when a real event happens, we will all not take it seriously like the story of the boy who cried wolf. There have been over a hundred of threats against Sears Tower that have not made the news. Now one gets publicized with much sensationalism as election time nears. You cannot deny that politicians on both sides play the media games.

Jason H. Bowden said...


Black Muslims were trying to obtain aid from al queda to destroy the Sears Tower, not far from where I live. Instead, they ran into someone from the F.B.I. and they won't be killing ME or anyone else in Chicago anytime soon.

Most people realize that this isn't a big victory in the war on terrorism. However, it does underscore the value of a proactive approach against terrorists home and abroad.

What kind of person would be upset or annoyed with this good news? I'll give you a clue-- they are the same people who are upset about the 500 WMDs we found in Iraq, along with the killing of Abu Musab al Zarqawi. Some people simply hate America and will always show sympathy with terrorists, even if it requires the most convoluted of conspiracy theories to do it.

Why are they upset? Murtha advocated a policy that wouldn't have killed Zarqawi, but would have put him in charge of Iraq. Some are unhappy about the WMDs we found, since they indicate there was some amount of truth to what Bush was saying before the war, and to anti-Americans, Bush is the enemy, not the terrorists. Lastly, some people want to end domestic surveillance, but that would have meant the guys in Florida may have trained with *real* al queda people and would have destroyed the Sears Tower. In short, recent events illustrate why a politically correct approach to terrorism will not work, and for some, they'd rather believe a comforting conspiracy theory than face this cold reality.

Stardust said...

Jason. Who's upset? I am not upset that the FBI is doing its job. I am upset with the MEDIA CIRCUS. Didn't you read what I wrote? I wrote that it IS a GOOD thing that FBI is watching and that it is a good thing that these guys are caught.

If you read instesd of SKIMMED what I wrote, you will see that I AM glad they are doing their job of protecting us, HOWEVER...politicians will take advantage of this to their own credit for this ONE little victory when threats are investigated on a regular basis, but now that election time is nearing we will see every little one on the news.

These clowns should be in jail for trying to talk to al-Qaida, however al-Qaida may be evil, but they are not stupid enough to accept the invitation by some newly-converted-to-islam-blabbermouthed

Jason H. Bowden said...


*Why* are people (psst! they're Democrats!) upset with media coverage over this event? It seems like the left would rather the media cover Nicole Kidman, or the value of one of Andy Warhol's wigs. What gives?

Stardust said...

500 WMDs we found in Iraq

Though this is a good find, it did not point to an ongoing program.

June 22, 2006 · Two Republican lawmakers say a declassified report points to hundreds of weapons of mass destruction that were found in Iraq. Peter Hoekstra, who chairs the House Intelligence Committee, and Sen. Rick Santorum (R-PA) on Wednesday released a declassified summary of a report by the National Ground Intelligence Center. A former weapons inspector says most of the degraded weapons are 20 years old and did not point to an ongoing chemical weapons program.
Charles Deulfer, Former chief U.S. weapons inspector in Iraq; former deputy chairman of the United Nations Weapons Inspection Team in Iraq

But Republicans will use this to say like little kids "see, see...we found some!" Yes, of course there is going to be leftover ammo from the Gulf War found. Like I said, election media circus time is approaching.

Stardust said...

Jason...I hate Andy Warhol and who cares about Nicole Kidman. WTF?

Stardust said...

One more thing...after being a journalism major for a year, and studying ethics and history of the media, political usage and manipulation of the news media, it is a field I have very little respect for. Unbiased media and honest media is hard to find.

When I first heard about this "threat" last night, it was reported as if the world was going to end. Then we learn that they "wanted" to talk to al-Qaida, they "wanted" to bomb the Sears Tower...but they had NOTHING yet to do it with...(but the idea is bad enough to get their asses locked up).

Stardust said...

but that would have meant the guys in Florida may have trained with *real* al queda people

Doubtful that al-Qaida would have given a pack of stupid-asses who have loose lips the time of day. However, they could have done something themselves since they were in that kind of a mindset.

Jason H. Bowden said...


If the terrorists we rounded up in Miami don't warrant today's headline, what does? Baseball? Hollywood? Weather? Be honest-- the event *does* justify headline coverage. The only people who think a conspiracy theory is at work here are the loonies on the far, far lunantic fringe of the Democratic Party. Not all Democrats are like this, just the most extreme of the extreme.

The weapons found in Iraq, while they are not evidence that Iraq had an ongoing WMD program, do indicate Saddam was lying when he said all such weapons had been destroyed. It also shows that years of on-again, off-again inspections did not uncover those munitions.

Jason H. Bowden said...

On a separate issue, a friendly message from Hamas today:

"Muslims will rule the nations, by Allah's will, the USA will be conquered, Israel will be conquered, Rome and Britain will be conquered… The Jihad for Allah... is the way of Truth and the way for Salvation and the way which will lead us to crush the Jews and expel them from our country Palestine. Just as the Jews ran from Gaza, the Americans will run from Iraq and Afghanistan and the Russians will run from Chechnya, and the Indian will run from Kashmir, and our children will be released from Guantanamo. The prisoners will be released by Allah's will, not by peaceful means and not by agreements, but they will be released by the sword, they will be released by the gun."

Stardust said...

If the terrorists we rounded up in Miami don't warrant today's headline, what does?

I didn't say it didn't warrant being a headline, however, it was shot out there in huge SENSATIONALISM even before we knew what, when ,who was going it was IMMINENT..and it wasn't. THAT, as I learned in Ethics classes is NOT responsible journalism.

Stardust said...

Also...we all KNOW that Saddam is a big disgusting liar. But, as we know from past wars, buried, disposed weapons will be found. Hell, they are still accidently digging up "live" undetonated bombs from WWII.

Stardust said...

On a separate issue, a friendly message from Hamas today:

Then why aren't you worried about the big Palestian village right in your own backyard of Bridgeview Illinois who has been supporting Palestinian terrorists overseas for a few decades now? The Bridgeview mosque alone has more than 2,000 active members. They have public "sirens" to tell them when it is time to bow to Mecca. They preach hate against the west in arabic language in mosques all across the country. They are taught to shun the ways of the west, yet they still live here. Is not our government concerned about this?

Stardust said...

News media is still all hyped up...

Business at Sears Tower normal despite plot!

No shit.

This is going to be redundantly reported again and again till election time and then forgotten.

Jason H. Bowden said...


I still don't understand your objection to the news coverage of the event. On yahoo right now, for example, I see:

• U.S.: Terror suspects sought al-Qaida ties
• Iraq reconciliation may include amnesty
• U.S. general 'very confident' on missile defense
• Chechen rebel vows wider attacks on Russia
• New U.S. office to focus on China trade
• U.S. judge won't delay Colo. smoking ban
• NYC to add more hybrid taxis to streets
• Sharks' Joe Thornton named NHL MVP

Any objective, impartial observer can tell the media coverage is what it is supposed to be. The local news on channel nine put it at their top story, and then went on to coverage some fugitive, and then reported some crap on skin cancer, sports, weather and so forth. Cable news has given it a lot of attention to it, but cable news always gives a lot of attention to new events (hurricanes, dead soldiers, etc), since they have nothing else to report.

Why does, if we are going to be honest, the far left wing of the *Democratic Party* have a problem with this sort of "sensational" coverage? I'll give you the answer: they don't want the media to report ANY information that evidences against their proposed policies. The Dem politicians are smarter than to engage in conspiracy theories, but I see it a lot of online with nimrod activists.

Stardust said...

Why does, if we are going to be honest, the far left wing of the *Democratic Party* have a problem with this sort of "sensational" coverage?

I have repeatedly stated I am NOT the FAR LEFT WING.

Sensationalism has no place in news media, period.

Stardust said...

Any objective, impartial observer can tell the media coverage is what it is supposed to be.

The initial reports that came out yesterday were not impartial...they were created to startle, scare. Any person who has an education in news media tactics and audience manipulation knows by the rhetoric what the intention of the media is.

Stardust said...

Yahoo news headlines today:

* Seven charged over 'Chicago plot' at BBC - Fri, Jun 23, 2006
* FBI: Sears Tower targeted at The Chicago Tribune (reg. req'd) - Fri, Jun 23, 2006
* Sears Tower terror plot foiled at Chicago Sun-Times - Fri, Jun 23, 2006
* 7 Indicted�in Sears Tower Plot at The Washington Post (reg. req'd) - Fri, Jun 23, 2006
* 7 Arrested in Miami in Alleged Terrorist Plot at The Los Angeles Times (reg. req'd) - Fri, Jun 23, 2006

» More News Stories

Tommykey said...

Jason, there is absolutely no plausible scenario wherein Zarqawi would have gained control of Iraq. Gimme a break. Zarqawi and his merry band of psychos were just one among many insurgent groups in Iraq, and he was a foreigner to boot. There are some 23 million Iraqis, and we're suppose to believe that Zarqawi would have controlled Iraq?

And useless and degraded weapons that were buried almost two decades ago do not constitute a justification for the invasion of Iraq.

Jason H. Bowden said...


I took the stories they had on their front page. Right now, it says:

• FBI says suspects plotted 'Islamic Army'
• U.S., Japan expand missile-defense plan
• Al-Qaida number two pays tribute to al-Zarqawi
• Sailors' Social Security numbers found online
• WTC officials face admission-fee friction
• Cadbury recalls 1M candy bars in U.K., Ireland
• Dutch paleontologists find remains of dodo

I don't care about the conspiracies all of the "educated" Ward Churchills of the world believe; the story deserves to be reported, and it has been leading without dominating the content.


Murtha wanted to pull troops to the perimeter of Iraq. If al Zarqawi didn't take over, someone just as bad (or worse!) would have. Don't take my word for it. Here is Senator Kerry back on December 3rd, 2003, before he, well, flipflopped:

Kerry warns
of ‘cut and run’
in Iraq

WASHINGTON, Dec. 3 - In a major national security address Wednesday Democratic presidential contender John Kerry was sounding an alarm about premature U.S. withdrawal from Iraq. “I fear that in the run-up to the 2004 election the administration is considering what is tantamount to a cut-and-run strategy,” Kerry said in remarks prepared for delivery to the Council on Foreign Relations.

The Massachusetts senator accused Bush and his aides of a “sudden embrace of accelerated Iraqification and American troop withdrawal without adequate stability,” which he called “an invitation to failure.”

He contended that it would be “a disaster and a disgraceful betrayal of principle” to accelerate the transfer of authority to Iraqis so as to allow “a politically expedient withdrawal of American troops.”
I voted for this guy because I believed his rhetoric. I feel somewhat embarrassed and betrayed today.

Lastly, liberals have been chanting the deep and nuanced slogan "Bush lied people died" for the last few years, when it turns out they should have been saying "Saddam lied people died." But in the minds of the left, Bush and Hussein are the same, right? ("No!" someone will shout, "Bush is worse!")

Stardust said...

Jason - did I say anything about conspiracies???? I don't think I did.

I said that politicians manipulate media to their advantage especially when an election is coming up. That's not conspiracy, that is fact. Most politicians take advantage of any little thing that comes along that they can expand on and try to make themselves look good...or better anyway.

Stardust said...

I have been wondering...Why did the FBI wait till now to arrest these 7 terrorist guys in Florida after they had been under surveillance for a year? What took so long to bring them in? Seems like they should have nabbed them right away since they knew of their deadly intentions? Points to ponder.

Lya Kahlo said...

Ah, bowden. Never misses an opportunity to make a series of ridiculous accusations.

Anonymous said...

What some call conspiracy theories,I call intellect and instinct.
To believe the facade of our system ignoring the underlying intent is ignorant. Shame on those who have been lied to numerous times, but for once in their life they FORGIVE and continue to be fooled.
The impact "fear" has on the stupid masses is immense. Helter Skelter, and HE HE we-got-em.

They needed something a little more spectaculer here-instead of one patsy they got lucky 7. Now we can all exhale and say whew they're keeping us safe.
They are idiots and embroiling masses and endangering our lives.

Same basis as religion-put the fear in them.

How dare us stand by and allow a religion to even have a milli-say in our public recreation. Fuck them. It's a personal belief-stay the fuck home. I'm sickened by the painful abortion the "god" people are performing on our freedom, rights, dignity, and
intelligence. In no time the foundation and framework for our country can desolve into memory.

Jason H. Bowden said...

Hey guys, where is this story now?

Wait, it was over in a day.

The truth is, the left didn't want the story to be reported at all, just like many of their organizations refuse to cover the WMD finds in Iraq. The *media* misled people and now has a LOT of crow to eat.

Stardust said...

I'm sure we will see more and more of these stories as time goes with the religious right trying to push creationism in schools, public nativity displays, ten commandments displayed in public buildings, etc., people will have to keep an eye on the muslim fundamentalists who will try to push their religion into our public sector, as well (since they believe they must convert the "infidel" all over the world.)